James De La Vega
NYC community-artist James De La Vega converts the walls of East Harlem into an open air canvas documenting New Yorks’s Barrio culture. The walk up Lexington Ave. to 106th St. is punctuated by his various murals portraying an eclectic combination of subjects including Picasso’s “Guernica” dead hip-hop stars, and religious icons, all illustrating the hybrids of Harlem’s Caribbean, African, Latin and american cultures. De La Vega claims public space with the speed and ferocity of his neighborhood's graffiti artists (at times collaborating with them), transforming the barren walls of his surroundings into into life-infused pieces with a distinct agenda. His work has trickled throughout the city, appearing on sidewalks in the form of painted cigarette butts (to trick the viewer) and inspiring “street philosophy” chalk drawings, spray paint silouettes, and masking tape outlines. De La Vega’s signature spray paint and masking tape technique is used to depict Christ and the Last Supper with accompanying commentary on the conditions plaguing the city’s people.